Your Definitive Guide To Hydrogel Masks

Your Definitive Guide To Hydrogel Masks

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Are you looking for a way to level up your skincare routine and self-care? Adding a mask to your bag of goodies is a great option! Not only do they instantly transform your home to a spa-like retreat, they’re also incredible for your skin.

Today we’re not just talking about any type of face masks, we’re talking about hydrogel masks. They’re the overachiever version of your typical sheet masks and can be a super affordable way to give your skin the hydration and glow you’re craving! Keep reading as we talk about all the deets you need to know about hydrogel face masks to help you choose the right one for you!

korean beauty mask

What Are Hydrogel Masks?

Once you know what they are, the name will make total sense! Essentially, hydrogel face masks are a deluxe version of the standard sheet masks. Sheet masks are made of woven cotton material, that feel similar to Viva paper towels.

Hydrogel masks are jelly-like masks that provide extreme hydration. Do you get what we mean by the name? To get their jelly-like composition, most hydrogel masks are made of biocellulose. They’re sometimes even called biocellulose masks.

wear hydrogel mask

Biocellulose fibers are made from coconut water. They are much stronger than typical sheet mask fibers and act like a super-magnet to water. You’ll notice how much thicker and more substantial they feel than a typical sheet mask.

What Does A Hydrogel Mask Do?

Hydrogel face masks are soaked in a solution of active ingredients. Since they’re made of super-absorbent biocellulose fibers, they absorb and retain significantly more of the skincare solution than regular sheet masks can. They’re then sealed into an air-tight opaque package to keep them sterile and preserve the integrity of the skincare solution.

hydrogel pack

Once applied to the skin they deliver hydration and all of those active skincare ingredients deep into your skin. Keep scrolling to learn about the benefits of hydrogel masks.

Is Hydrogel Mask Good For Skin?

Since they’re sterile and expertly formulated with active skincare ingredients, hydrogel face masks can be extremely beneficial to your skin. Let’s talk about the key benefits of adding a hydrogel mask to your regular skincare routine.

Lock In Hydration

Hydrogel masks are made of biocellulose fibers which makes them much more absorbent than regular sheet masks. Since they hold so much more liquid and active ingredients, they deliver more moisturizing product to your skin, helping your skin barrier lock in moisture!

Convenient to Use

You can wear your hydrogel mask while you catch up on Netflix or respond to work emails. Celebs even wear them while driving or on long flights! Since they’re individually packaged and made for one time use, they’re easy to take and use anywhere. They also don’t require any water. Once you’ve finished masking, you just remove your hydrogel face mask and lightly pat in the residual ingredients. No need to wash your face afterwards!

Increased Product Absorption

Hydrogel masks are more than three times as thick as typical sheet masks and there for can hold significantly more product and take much longer to dry out. They can be worn about two times longer than typical sheet masks giving your skin twice the time to absorb all the expertly formulated active ingredients from the hydrogel face mask.

Quality of Ingredients

Unlike your daily skincare products that are exposed to oxygen and light as soon as you start using them, hydrogel face masks are packaged in air-tight opaque sachets. This helps protect the active ingredients in your hydrogel mask ensuring you get the highest quality of ingredients delivered directly to your skin. This is especially important with ingredients like vitamin C and retinol which breakdown and turn rancid when exposed to light and air.


The biocellulose fibers in a hydrogel mask gives it a jelly-like texture and makes it naturally cool to touch. When added to your skin you get all the benefits of an anti-inflammatory and increased blood circulation!

A pro tip is to place your hydrogel mask in the fridge for 15 minutes before use. This will supercharge the chill and anti-inflammatory effects. We love to do this in the morning when our face and eyes are a bit puffy.

hydrogel sheet masks

Estheticians and facialists also love to use jade rollers or ice rollers on top hydrogel masks. This again helps with inflammation and circulation. It also helps with product absorption and lymphatic drainage! 

Target Problem Areas

Fortunately, hydrogel masks are here to stay which means companies are producing versions for every problem area you can think of! We’ve seen all over hydrogel face masks, eye masks, laugh line masks, neck masks, chest masks, breast masks, booty masks and hand masks!

That's right, whether you’re targeting acne, wrinkles, dry skin, cellulite, hyperpigmentation, or other skin conditions there is a hydrogel mask out there for you!

How Do You Use A Hydrogel Mask?

Hydrogel masks can easily be added into your skincare routine! They should be used just before your moisturizer. So, if you’re using it in the AM, you would use your cleanser, toner, serums/ampoules, then add in your sheet mask!

Follow the instructions on the packaging, but typically you leave your hydrogel mask on for 15-30 minutes. You want to ensure you take it off well before it starts to dry out. So do not sleep in your hydrogel face masks.

korean sheet mask

Wearing any face mask to the point that it starts drying, even clay masks, will actually do the exact opposite of hydrating your skin. Once the mask starts to dry, it will start to suck moisture out of your skin. No thanks!

Once you’ve worn your hydrogel face mask for 15-30 minutes, simply remove it, pat in the residual ingredients, then add your moisturizer (and SPF in the AM) on top! Your skin will be seriously hydrated and dewy.

Most masks are safe to be used up to three times per week. If you choose a mask with gentle active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, you could even use it daily to give your skin an incredible, radiant boost!

Can You Reuse Hydrogel Masks?

No, you should not reuse your hydrogel face mask on your face again. Once your hydrogel mask is exposed to the environment and used on you face once, it is now covered with germs and bacteria. If you were to try to put it back in its packaging and reuse it, you would just be adding a sheet of bacteria to your face. Hopefully we don’t need to tell you that this is a major no no that could leave to irritation and acne.

A pro tip after you’ve used your hydrogel mask on your face is to turn it over and use it on your chest or your hands. Two areas that are commonly ignored in skincare and can show signs of aging earlier than other areas of your body.

Are Hydrogel Masks Better Than Sheet Masks?

Yes! Although they’re a little bit more slippery and can be a bit tedious to put onto your face, hydrogel masks really are the new and improved version of sheet masks. They hold more moisture and ingredients than regular sheet masks and therefore provide significantly more hydration and increase product absorption.

Hydrogel face masks can be worn longer than sheet masks. Since they’re thicker and more saturated than sheet masks, we’ve found that you can wear them up to 30 minutes versus sheet masks which start to dry out around 15 minutes and should be removed. With skincare, the longer the product is on the skin, the more benefits your skin gets from the active ingredients!

korean mask pack

You might still be thinking that you’d rather just pay $2 for a regular sheet mask, but we promise that the hydrogel masks are worth the extra money! Sheet masks are notorious for ripping while you try to get them out of the package, leaving you with a papier-mâché project to get full mask coverage on your face. The biocellulose of the hydrogel masks make them much more durable and rip resistant.

Their rubbery consistency also helps them adhere to your face better! This means you won’t be left with gaps that are common with typical sheet masks. You also won’t have to worry about them falling off as easily as sheet masks do. It seems counterintuitive since they’re extremely saturated and can be a bit difficult to apply, but once you apply your hydrogel mask to your face it stays secure until you remove it!

Where Does Hydrogel Mask Go In Skincare Routine?

As we mentioned above, hydrogel masks can be used AM or PM. If used in the AM, they should be applied after your cleanser and toner. After you mask, you can apply your vitamin C, moisturizer, and SPF.

korean mask sheets

If you’re masking in the PM, you should again use your cleanser and toner, then use your mask. It’s safe to use other serums or retinols afterwards, but no matter what, always moisturizer post mask to lock in the hydration and benefits of the active ingredients.